The state minister in the Office of the Vice- President, Vincent Nyanzi, on Tuesday came under the spotlight after MPs on Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee heard that he irregularly obtained Shs 12m from the Presidency.
Deborah Katuramu, the permanent secretary for the Presidency, pinned Nyanzi for requisitioning the money as facilitation for a trip to Korea, which took place on November 21-30, 2012 yet his up keep perk had already been catered for.
Katuramu said that after they realised the minister had already got his facilitation, ministry officials “approached” him to refund it, but he declined. She added that it became “tricky” for them to deduct the money from the minister’s monthly salary.
The revelation caused uproar from the MPs, some of whom accused the permanent secretary of “shielding criminals who are stealing taxpayers’ money.”
Paul Mwiru, the committee chairperson, directed Katuramu to write to the clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige, who controls MPs’ salaries, to notify her of the intention to deduct the lost money from Nyanzi’s salary account. The MPs warned Katuramu that should she fail to recover the money within a specified time, she would be made to personally refund it.
In response, Katuramu pledged to follow the “directive”, but told the MPs that she had already embarked on the process of recovering the funds from Nyanzi’s subsistence allowance. She said at least Shs 830,000 had been recovered so far out of the outstanding Shs 12m.
Source : The Observer